From the Desk of the President: Advocacy Update

It was a busy and productive month for our advocacy team. It’s clear from the great results and our conversations with government officials that the voice of the architecture community is being heard. Following is an update of our efforts on your behalf.

We are pleased to report that on 03.06.13, the NYC Lobbying Commission released its final report and recommendations seeking to strengthen New York City’s lobbying laws. Since 2011, AIANY has worked with the Commission to clarify and modify the proposed mandates which would require architects presenting plans to any government body to register as lobbyists, which would have massive implications for architects and firms both large and small. In its final report, the Commission agreed with our position and incorporated our recommendations.

On 03.21.13, we made our annual lobbying trip to Washington, DC, to meet with our elected representatives in Congress. This year, we met with Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, and staff from the offices of Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney, Congressman Charles Rangel, and Congressman Jerrold Nadler, as well as Congresswoman Nita Lowey. We were pleased to have the chance to discuss our legislative priorities for architects locally and nationally. All of the issues we discussed were met with support and encouragement, despite the difficulty of achieving positive results in such a divided congress. Continue reading “From the Desk of the President: Advocacy Update”

Board Inaugural: 2012 President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA

Event: 2013 AIA New York Board Inaugural
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.11.12
Speakers: Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, 2012 AIANY President; Jill N. Lerner, FAIA, 2013 AIANY President
Remarks: Rick Bell, FAIA, AIANY Executive Director
Organizer: AIANY

What follows are adapted remarks from the 2013 Inaugural.

Looking back over the past year, I am proud and humbled by all that our Board and volunteers have done to enhance our advocacy profile, increase our membership, and expand the professional services offered at the Center for Architecture. Firstly, the entire region has suffered from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. The design community must take the lead on how to design for resiliency. Reconstruction is an ongoing process. Initiatives and information will continue to evolve. To keep abreast of the changes, please visit AIANY’s Sandy Recovery website. Continue reading “Board Inaugural: 2012 President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA”

Board Inaugural: 2013 President Jill N. Lerner, FAIA

What follows are adapted remarks from the 2013 Inaugural.

Taking the helm of AIA New York is an honor, a challenge, and a responsibility. I stand on the shoulders of many great presidents who have come before, and am conscious of the great legacy of this, the founding Chapter, in particular. I thank my peers for selecting me, and my partners and family for supporting my efforts.

I would also like to recognize the incoming 2013 AIA New York Chapter Board. We had a lively retreat two weekends ago with an excellent exchange of ideas. I am excited to work with all of you. I would especially like to acknowledge 2013 President-Elect Lance Jay Brown, FAIA, co-founder of the Design for Risk and Recovery Committee, which will continue to be so central to the Chapter’s activities over the coming year. Continue reading “Board Inaugural: 2013 President Jill N. Lerner, FAIA”

In this issue:
• From the Desk of the President: Superstorm Sandy Update
• e-Calendar


From the Desk of the President: Superstorm Sandy Update
Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP
I would like to use this opportunity to update you on our activities in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy. First, for those of you who have been hard-hit by this disaster, know that you are in our thoughts and I hope that everyone has resumed normal life with minimal disruption. I am pleased to report that our staff remained safe and the Center for Architecture was largely unaffected, aside from the power outage that occurred throughout lower Manhattan.

Despite that and the inability to operate out of the Center, AIANY staff and membership were able to mobilize a tremendous effort. In a true members-helping-members endeavor, the staff and volunteers put out more than 700 phone calls to members in zone A to offer assistance in finding temporary office space and access to other resources.

The Chapter issued a call to action to help City agencies assess damage to the nearly 35,000 buildings impacted by Sandy. Within hours, hundreds of AIA members volunteered their services. To contribute further, the Chapter, in conjunction with the Center for Architecture Foundation, raised money for the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City by hosting a forum at the Center. “Designing the City after Superstorm Sandy” was an informative panel moderated by New York Times architecture critic Michael Kimmelman that brought to light many imaginative and resourceful ideas regarding disaster relief and resilient design.

This last week, the Chapter’s Executive Committee and Design for Risk and Reconstruction Committee Co-Chairs Lance Brown, FAIA, and Illya Azaroff, AIA, took the first step in an initiative to develop short- and long-term recommendations to City agencies. Our hope is these ideas will lead to a more resilient city in light of climate change, sea level rise, and other natural and man-made phenomena in the century ahead. Our main objective is to promote new information to the public and private sector in areas such as codes and zoning, infrastructure, the waterfront, and housing. AIANY Committee Co-Chairs will be reaching out to their members and professional colleagues in sister organizations to discuss this in greater detail. The Chapter will provide updates and opportunities to participate on its website, through eBlasts, and of course, by making all space at the Center for Architecture available.

New York City has come a long way since the disaster, but there is much more work to be done. I would like to thank our membership for donating their valuable time and all the other resources that have been committed to helping the recovery effort.

If you have questions or comments on our recovery efforts or to find out how you can be involved with a particular committee, please be in touch with Jay B. Bond, Policy Director, jbond@aiany.org, at the AIA New York Chapter.


eCALENDAR
eCalendar includes an interactive listing of architectural events around NYC. Click the link to go to to eCalendar on the Web.

145th Annual Meeting Report: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP

Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP, speaks to a full house about the state of the Chapter.

Sam Lahoz

Event: AIA New York Chapter 145th Annual Meeting
Location: Center for Architecture, 06.13.12
Organizer: AIANY

It has been almost nine years since we opened the Center of Architecture. In that time, the Center has become an internationally-recognized resource for architecture and design. This year we expanded, “breaking through” into 532 LaGuardia Place. The Chapter has also grown, more than physically, to be a respected voice in the local, national, and international discourse on design.

President’s Theme
Each year, the AIA New York president identifies a theme that expands the goals of the Chapter and the Center for Architecture.

The 2012 theme – Future Now! – focuses on the concerns for the future that we all share: that the profession, the city, and the world be transformed for the better by our members’ activities, advocacy, and projects. As part of my theme, the Center is highlighting the competition and exhibition, “New Practices New York 2012” by the New Practices Committee (currently on view), and the Biennial Ideas Competition and exhibition, “The Harlem Edge: Cultivating Connections” by the Emerging New York Architects Committee (ENYA).

ENYA’s The Harlem Edge: Cultivating Connections competition gave emerging professionals the opportunity to consider the possibilities for a multi-modal transit hub and a food and nutrition educational facility at the waterfront. The competition will be exhibited beginning 07.12.12.

In addition, ENYA, in partnership with several other Chapter committees, is organizing a Future Now Summit on 09.22.12. The goal of this conference is to empower young professionals to better the future of the profession and the city.

Professional Development
The Chapter is committed to promoting professional development and mentorship, which has been the focus of this year’s presidential theme. We have already made a big impact on the architectural community through ongoing programs such as the Architects’ Fast Track Leadership series (AFTL) providing professional practice education to young professionals and mid-career architects. ENYA continues the highly successful Speed Mentoring program, which is drawing together young practitioners with Fellows and senior members of the profession. REVIT training, LEED Exam Preparation, and ARE prep courses are offered regularly. This year, we hosted a Practice in the Middle East Breakfast inspired by our current exhibit, “Change,” and coordinated jointly by our Global Dialogues and Professional Practice Committees.

Advocacy
The Chapter continues to actively engage government leaders while also providing expert testimony on issues of importance to the profession at the New York City Council, City Planning Commission, Department of Buildings, the Lobbying Commission, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission, as well as at state agencies, public authorities, and directly to elected officials. Recent topics include:

• NYU Core Project
• Zone Green Text Amendment
• Sustainable design policies for federal buildings
• Federal Transportation Reauthorization legislation
• Protecting the profession from rules designed to require architects to register as lobbyists
• Recommendations on how the city can meet the housing needs of older New Yorkers
• Working with the Department of Buildings to improve rules for minimum drawing standards

We are also committed to advocating for the future of the built environment and enabling the unique vision of the architect to shape the city at all levels of the process.

(continues…)

145th Annual Meeting Report: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP (continued)

(continued from above)

Locally, we have advocated for increased representation of architects on community boards across the city. Today, we count 28 members city-wide. We continue to work diligently on reform of the buildings approval process, and we are at the table, participating on the NYC City Planning Business Process Reform Working Group known as BluePrint, the Green Buildings Task Force, Vision 2020 Waterfront Advisory Group, New York City Age-Friendly Commission, and the Department of Building’s Technical Code and Managing Committees, which will make recommendations on improving the NYC Construction Code.

The Chapter is undertaking a major project with the goal of actively engaging government leaders as well as the general public in finding needed solutions to the most pressing design issues facing our city. The city-wide 2013 New York City elections offer an opportunity for AIANY to help shape the political debate and advance our policy agenda. Therefore, we are drafting a policy platform to emphasize the role of design in the future of our city.

In this platform statement, we will identify issues and offer solutions from the architects’ perspective. As we move forward on this project, we ask for your support and involvement.

We went to Washington, DC, and to Albany to meet with our elected officials on important issues such as the reauthorization of the federal transportation bill to restore mass-transit funding, the opening of credit markets, increased incentives for energy-efficient building design, and the Small Business Protection Act 2012 that seeks to create jobs and provide economic opportunity. In Albany, we advocated for The Good Samaritan Act and the adoption of a 10-year statute of repose, both of which, focus on the liability architects assume as part of our licensure and commitment to public safety.

We were selected by NYSERDA to organize and deliver energy code training based on the Energy Conservation Construction Code of New York throughout New York State. Working with Urban Green, I am pleased to report that we are on target to deliver 40 training sessions by the month’s end.

If you’re interested in participating in any of the Chapter’s advocacy initiatives, please be in touch with our Policy Director Jay Bond: jbond@aiany.org.

Finally, we are busy planning the annual Heritage Ball, which will be held at Chelsea Piers on Thursday, October 25. Please join us to celebrate our 2012 honorees:
• Cesar Pelli, FAIA, Senior Principal, Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects
• Robert E. Selsam, Senior Vice President, Boston Properties
• Iris Weinshall, Vice Chancellor, City University of New York
• Joshua David & Robert Hammond, Co-Founders, Friends of the Highline

The 2012 Heritage Ball and Party@theCenter afterwards will be a wonderful evening. Reserve your places early!

Board Inaugural: 2011 AIANY President Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP

Event: 2012 AIA New York Board Inaugural
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.06.11
Speakers: Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP — 2011 AIANY President; Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP — 2012 AIANY President
Remarks: Rick Bell, FAIA — AIANY Executive Director
Organizer: AIANY

Looking back over the past year, I am proud and humbled by all that our Board and volunteer activists have done to enhance our advocacy profile, increase our membership, and expand the professional services offered at the Center for Architecture. Tonight, I’ll only have time to review highlights from the many new initiatives and ongoing projects we undertook this year, but I genuinely appreciate all of your efforts.

The 2011 theme – Design for a Change – provided the opportunity to demonstrate that architects are thought leaders crafting the environmental and design agenda of the 21st Century. Never has it been more important for architects, engineers, landscape architects, and urban planners to collaborate and address the issues of urban infrastructure and the built environment. Whether cities are in the industrialized world or in developing countries, it is critical that we look at our natural resources and buildings in terms of economic, performance and social criteria.

During my presidency, the Chapter presented a number of programs that addressed these priorities, including our ongoing sustainable urbanization collaboration with the United Nations.

The theme culminated in October with a major exhibition, “Buildings = Energy,” which educates and inspires the public and design professionals about measures that improve building performance and the environment. The Presidential theme has given us an opportunity to focus particular attention on the benefits of reducing the energy consumed by buildings through more efficient design. We have started delivering training sessions in collaboration with NYSERDA and Urban Green to architects, engineers, and others in the real estate, construction, and design industries on the new energy code through 80 course sessions over a 30-month period. These sessions are offered at the Center for Architecture and other locations around the City and State.

With the guidance of Director for Legislative Affairs Margery Perlmutter, AIA, Esq., our advocacy initiatives are having an impact. Our testimony at the NYC Charter Revision Commission encouraging better collaboration between approval agencies and streamlining the approval process led to the Department of Buildings creating the HUB – a state-of-the-art plan review center where construction plans can be approved faster, easier and without paper for the first time in New York City history. We will continue to work with DOB for further improvements.

We have organized numerous programs with a focus on policy outreach. We continue our work on Fit City, a partnership with the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), Department of Design + Construction, and other city agencies to develop and promote changes in the design of buildings and communities to increase walking, biking, and stair use – all of which are strategies for addressing the problem of obesity and other chronic diseases. For this first time, AIANY and DOHMH convened Fit Nation conferences in Washington, DC, and New Orleans during the Convention.

We’ve also gotten a prestigious National Endowment for the Arts grant to bring the Fit Nation initiatives to the general public through an exhibition and related programming.

I’m happy to report that despite the rugged economy, the Chapter ended the year in a strong financial position thanks in large part to the fundraising efforts of Board members and committees. This year’s Heritage Ball welcomed 1,200 guests to Chelsea Piers, and grossed $1.3 million to support the programs, exhibitions, and events of the Chapter and our Center for Architecture.

To accommodate even more exhibitions and activities, we’ve expanded our facility into the adjacent storefront at 532 LaGuardia Place. The New York Times and Washington Post have both published articles highlighting our growth.

One of our major achievements was the kick-off of Archtober, the inaugural month-long festival of architecture activities, programs, and exhibitions in New York City. Anchored by AIANY, the project ultimately included 38 collaborating institutions involved in architecture and design.

As the Center has grown in stature, so have our exhibitions. This year’s exhibitions explored global architectural communities, from India to the Netherlands, presenting visions of design and change from around the world. Jugaad Urbanism: Resourceful Strategies for Indian Cities garnered the Center our first-ever PBS spotlight. Glimpses of New York and Amsterdam in 2040 presented an exchange program between the Center for Architecture in New York and the Amsterdam Centre for Architecture (ARCAM).

I would like to thank the 457 new members who joined AIANY in 2011. I would also like to acknowledge the 139 members who became newly registered architects this year. We expect many more Associates to attain licensure as the fifth edition of our Architectural Registration Exam Boot Camp begins in January 2012.

We thank all our active committee members for their incredible hard work and devotion to the Chapter’s programming!

Board Inaugural: 2012 AIANY President Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP

Event: 2012 AIA New York Board Inaugural
Location: Center for Architecture, 12.06.11
Speakers: Margaret O’Donoghue Castillo, AIA, LEED AP — 2011 AIANY President; Joseph J. Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP — 2012 AIANY President
Remarks: Rick Bell, FAIA — AIANY Executive Director
Organizer: AIANY

In today’s uncertain times, now more than ever, we must envision the future of our profession and the health of our building environment by addressing its most profound challenges. We will determine our own future by how thoughtfully we respond to those challenges. For these reasons, I have established the 2012 theme as “Future Now.”

Featuring the Emerging New York Architects (ENYA) Ideas Competition The Harlem Edge: Cultivating Connections, and the New Practices Competition, they will point us to new directions in the design profession. These competitions and their related exhibitions and programs are the centerpieces of 2012, continuing the Chapter’s focus on innovative technologies and sustainability. Related programs will include a weekend design-build workshop with the firms and local high school students.

As you, I’m looking forward to a resurgent economy with a stronger Chapter recognized for its intellectual, practical, and imaginative leaders. I look forward to working with all of you toward these goals.

144th Annual Meeting: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President-elect Joseph Aliotta, AIA, LEED AP

Aliotta at the Annual Meeting.

Sam Lahoz

Professional Development
The Chapter is committed to promoting professional development. In fact, it will be a focus of next year’s presidential theme. Our programs already make a big impact on our architectural community. We have continued our successful “Not Business as Usual” lunch series, which seeks to guide architects through this troubled economy. We have also expanded our LEED Exam prep courses and ARE study sessions, which brought new Associate members to the Chapter. In the past nine months we’ve presented the “Architects’ Fast Track Leadership” series for professional practice to young professionals and mid-career architects.

Committee Programs
Committee programs continue to be the lifeblood of the Chapter. These programs bring a wide range of expertise and intellectual content to the Center. The Committee on the Environment’s Integration Series has been an indispensable resource. The ENYA and New Practices Committees both mounted successful exhibitions. We are thrilled to add two new committees this year –Architectural Tourism, and Design for Risk and Reconstruction. We thank all our active committee members for their incredible hard work and devotion to the Chapter’s programming!

144th Annual Meeting: Excerpted Remarks by AIANY President Margaret Castillo, AIA, LEED AP (continued)

We are also committed to advocating for the future of the built environment and enabling the unique vision of the architect to shape the city at all levels of the process. Locally, we have advocated for increased representation of architects on community boards across the city. Today, we count 28 members city-wide. We continue to work diligently on reform of the buildings approval process, and have representatives on Deputy Mayor Goldsmith’s Buildings and Construction Industry Working Group, Green Buildings Task Force, Vision 2020 Waterfront Advisory Group, New York City Age-Friendly Commission, and the Department of Building’s Technical Code Committees, which will make recommendations on improving the NYC Construction Code.

We traveled to Washington, DC, and upstate to Albany with colleagues from across the state and nation to meet with members of the legislature on important issues, including the adoption of a federal transportation bill; the repeal of Form 1099 filing requirement (which Congress has passed); the opening of credit markets; and an increase on incentives for efficient building designs. In Albany we advocated for Non-Design Professional Ownership, adoption of a 10-year statute of repose, Qualifications-Based Selection for Professional Design Services, and the Good Samaritan Act. I am pleased to report that because of the efforts of AIA New York State and our work locally, the Non-Design Professional Ownership legislation has passed the New York State Senate and Assembly and awaits the Governor’s signature. We worked with components from across the nation to restore the 2011 Solar Decathlon to the National Mall after it was denied a place there by the Departments of the Interior and Energy.

We were selected by NYSERDA to organize a two-year program of energy code trainings around New York State. We are working with Urban Green to identify trainers this month, and the courses will soon be underway.

If you’re interested in participating in any of the Chapter’s advocacy initiatives, please be in touch with our Policy Director, Jay Bond.

Meanwhile, we are organizing numerous programs with a focus on policy outreach. We hosted David Bragdon, head of the Mayor’s Office of Long Term Planning and Sustainability, and Chris Ward, the Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Our sixth annual Fit City conference was just a few weeks ago. Promoting health through design has been a real focus for us, and this year our cooperative effort with the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene has expanded to a national scale. We hosted two Fit Nation conferences — one in DC, and one in New Orleans, and we’ll hold a national training session when the Big Sibs conference meets here in October. Also. this fall we will organize programs as part of the national Sustainability 2030 by Design initiative.